Mother, newborn and child health (MNCH), noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), urban health, an ageing population, and a peaking AIDS epidemic, coupled with limited resources, rapid urbanization, environmental damage, climate change and poverty are some of the many problems facing communities around the world.

In order reduce the impact of these dangers, communities must be empowered and people’s resilience must be strengthened. 

How we help

The community-based health and first aid (CBHFA) approach empowers volunteers and communities to take charge of their own health. By using simple tools, adapted to respective local context, communities are mobilized to address and prioritize their health needs. CBHFA works far beyond simply teaching people first aid techniques, and addresses health needs related to MNCH, NCDs, urban health risks, malaria, water and sanitation and hygiene promotion among many others.

The CBHFA approach seeks to create healthy and resilient communities worldwide. As such, it plays a vital role not only in achieving the IFRC’s Strategy 2020, but also in contributing towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.


In 2012 alone some 30,384 volunteers reached more than 2.8 million beneficiaries using the CBHFA approach.